Ps: did I mention how happy I am to not have lice?

Hi Everyone!! First off, let’s start by saying I’m alive, and I don’t have lice or malaria. So don’t worry mom.

I can’t even think of where to start. I was so worried I would get here and all of my hard work to get here would be for nothing. I was worried the kids wouldn’t like me, or that I’d forget how to speak English once I met them or some other ridiculous irrational fear. I seriously could not have been more wrong.

The kids, oh-em-gee, the kids. They’re darling. Like, mom and dad, you thought I was a cute baby but they all “one-upped” me hard-core. They’re so happy, and kind, and so so excited to see/touch/hold hands with/play/tackle anyone with white skin. And lucky for us, we are a group of white teens who want to play with them. It all worked out pretty well. They are so smart, and so respectful, and I want to adopt them all.

The schools make it totally worth all the frustrations of India. For example, it’s only 70 degrees but it is also, like, 90000 percent humidity and you feel sticky 24/7 (and my hair stays huge and wet all day.) I still don’t know what any of the light switches do, so it takes like 15 years to turn on or off lights, so we kind of have made it into a guessing game. Basically everywhere we go we have to take our shoes off to be respectful, so I have thee dirtiest feet ever, and the dirt kinda just never goes away, which I guess in a gross, not very hygienic way makes me really connected to the land. Speaking of the land, it seriously blows my mind. When we arrived in India, the airport was pretty nice and new, and as soon as we got out of the gates, it was 100% poverty everywhere. Unfinished buildings, huts made out of recycled billboards and scrap metal literally surrounded us, and its truly humbling and makes us realize how blessed we are.

Everyone is ALWAYS HANGRY. Like always. Its great. Oh and we almost die like every day in the cars cause the roads are sketchy. And you shouldn’t get in a Toto (the little Indian buggy things) with a driver who doesn’t know where he’s going, even if you’re with two leaders. Just don’t.

On the more positive side, my village is amazing. I love the kids (even though one of the “of marrying age” boys straight up tried to kiss me today) I love the food they give us, and I love meeting the people and seeing their homes. Again, it’s so so humbling. I have no bug bites, NOT A SINGLE ONE, and I don’t know how that happened but #blessed is all I have to say. The cold showers are so refreshing after a hot day, and turned out to be thee best. I keep waking up at 5 am but it allows me to watch the sun rise through the windows over the very polluted skies, but pollution makes for pretty colors both during sunrise and sunset (those are my fav). The food is so freaking good, I almost don’t even miss Café Rio. Ok that was a lie. And I’m tired, so tired I want to go to bed at 5 pm, but that means I’m doing what I came here to do, which was do the work and love those kids (which involves A LOT of “ride ride ride that pony,” both-cheek kisses, and lots of hugs).

I never thought I’d be so happy to be in such a dirty, hot, and kinda smelly place (it’s not that bad actually) but I feel like there is so much beauty and things to be happy about. So I’m choosing to be happy.

I love and miss you ALL and I cant wait to see you when I get back!! Choose the right, and don’t say bad words. Remember to be happy.

Love,

Sierra

Ps: did I mention how happy I am to not have lice?